Applications for second phase of ‘Aswesuma’ accepted from today

Accepting applications for the second phase of ‘Aswesuma’ welfare benefits program commences today (Feb.15) to select 400,000 more beneficiaries.

Finance State Minister Shehan Semasinghe said the applications can be submitted online or through the Divisional Secretariats for a period of one month.
Speaking to Ada Derana, the lawmaker said the government intends to increase the total number of ‘Aswesuma’ beneficiaries, which now stands close to 2 million, to as many as 2.4 million people.

The government expects to spend Rs. 205 billion on the provision of welfare this year, he added.

Meanwhile, the monthly allowances paid to disabled persons, kidney patients and elderly citizens are to be retrospectively increased from January 2024.

Accordingly, kidney patients and disabled persons’ allowances will be raised from Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 7,500, while the elderly citizens’ allowance will be increased from Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 3,000.

Last week, Semasinghe revealed that ‘Aswesuma’ beneficiaries who are entitled to these allowances would be identified within the first quarter of 2024 and paid the increased payments starting April 01.

Additionally, the government has decided to continue the payments for the ‘vulnerable’ and ‘transitional’ social groups up until December 31. The existing ‘vulnerable’ and ‘transitional’ social groups are planned to be amalgamated in the future. Subsequently, a total of 800,000 families will be considered ‘vulnerable’ and an allowance of Rs. 5,000 will be paid to them. The ‘transitional’ social group now receives only Rs. 2,500.